KidsView  | The Adventist Review for kids and those who always will be kids at heart | January 2014

Ella and Her Grandma

By Chantal Klingbeil

Did you see your grandparents during Christmas break? If so, I hope you had a wonderful time together. 

Imagine what it must have been like to have Ellen White as your grandmother. Do you think you would have to sit quietly and listen to long adult conversations when you visited? According to Ella, Mrs. White’s oldest granddaughter, that was not the case. Ella wrote a book about her times with her grandma. In the book, she shares some of her favorite memories of Mrs. White. 

a young ellaElla and her younger sister Mabel lived with Mrs. White for a few years. What do you think the girls enjoyed doing with their grandma? In the evenings Ella and Mabel would race upstairs to see who could get grandma’s comb and brush first, and then the winner would get to comb out grandma’s hair while she knitted and told them stories of her travel adventures. 

Traveling with Grandma was also something the girls enjoyed. When they lived in Switzerland, Ella and Grandma went for a walk together. They were just supposed to be going around the block, but in old cities the blocks aren’t always square, so Ella and Grandma got lost. They weren’t able to ask for directions, as neither of them spoke French, German, or Italian (the three main languages spoken in Switzerland). So the little walk around the block turned into a long and fun adventure. The only problem was that they were so late for dinner that everyone else had finished by the time they got home. Fortunately, there was enough food left for Ella and Grandma. 

When Ella was about 14 she got to share a tent with her grandma—and it wasn’t just for a camping trip, either. Mrs. White and her son Willie (Ella’s father) moved to Australia to help the church get started there. Soon after Ella and Mabel made the long boat trip to Australia to join them. Mrs. White had bought a piece of land next to the site of the new school in Cooranbong. In order to supervise the clearing of the land and the building of her house Mrs. White and Ella moved there and lived together in a tent. 

But Ella’s favorite memory of her grandma was pulling back the flap that divided the tent and watching as grandma—propped up with pillows or sitting in her easy chair—used a lapboard to write by the light of a kerosene lamp. Ella knew that the most important thing for her grandma was to encourage others to love Jesus and prepare for a heavenly home.

If you have grandparents, now would be a good time to write them a note, e-mail, or text, or give them a phone call. You can share a good memory and tell them that you want to spend time together with them in heaven.